With filming for the long-awaited Downton Abbey movie underway, fans are already excited to catch up with the Crawley family and their staff years after the drama ended its run on ITV.
However, a few cast members (including Mamma Mia’s Lily James) have already confirmed they won’t be involved in the big-budget version of the story – and now it's been revealed that Outlander and Eragon star Ed Speleers is one of them.
- Downton Abbey movie CONFIRMED – Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery to reunite for film sequel
- Joanne Froggatt on the Downton Abbey movie: “Everyone would like to do it”
- Meet Lady Carnarvon of Highclere Castle – the real head of Downton Abbey and Mary Berry’s new friend
"I didn't get the call, unfortunately," Speleers said on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.
"To be fair, I'm doing Rain Man so I wasn't able to do it. I don't think it would be right for my character to come back anyway."
Speelers played footman James “Jimmy” Kent for three series of Downton Abbey, before leaving the show in the 2014 Christmas special (just before its final series the year after) – so it’s not exactly a big surprise that they didn’t bring him back for the movie. He hadn't been in it for a while when it finished anyway!
Still, there's no hard feelings, with Speleers adding that the series was an "amazing gig" for him "on both a personal and a professional level".
"I never went to drama school," he explained.
"I felt that that job was in many respects my drama school."
And now, he’s more than happy to sink his teeth into another period drama role - that of Outlander’s new villain Stephen Bonnet.
"It's a little bit removed from what I've done before," he said of his part in the time-travel romance.
"It's been a great role, a great show and part."
Who needs movie stardom anyway?
Downton Abbey will be released on September 13, 2019 in UK cinemas